Written by Jonathan Wojcik
SILENT HILL'S LOST MONSTERS
Images recorded by GiromancyI wrote this post almost an entire year late. It was back in September of 2017 that fan and modder roocker666 first discovered a slew of unused monsters hidden deep within the code of the original Silent Hill, undiscovered by fans since its original release.
It was a bit farther back in 2015 that I reviewed almost every single other monster in this franchise, game by game, and explored the rise, fall and untimely death of a series that once meant quite a bit to me. It feels good to be able to pick it up again after all this time, and if this proves to be the last opportunity I ever have to review Silent Hill creatures, I'm glad it will be for some truly excellent creatures.
Starting with the most ordinary of these scrapped creatures, this is quite clearly a giant moth, but it was coded as "BTFY." Perhaps they felt the presence of this enemy would detract from the impact of our boss battle against the more massive Float Stinger, though it might not have if they simple waited to introduce these smaller models after its demise. I can say that I like the design of these moths a little more than the stinger, but it's generally always a treat to see moths and butterflies as threatening "monsters" in just about any context.
THE BUTTERFLY (BTFY)
With the exception of the real world vampire moth, adult Lepidoptera are as nonviolent as an animal can ever get, making "killer" specimens a striking addition to any bestiary. It's all the more interesting when they don't necessarily look any more mancing than usual, either, besides perhaps their size.
I have to assume that the coded names were probably meant to be descriptive placeholders, because these don't entirely scream "snake" to me. They're rather blunter, more slug-like or even caterpillar-like, and perhaps a little phallic, with an elongated needle-like tongue for good measure. Overall, very creepy and very Silent Hill, and had they made it into the game, you know they would have had a more cryptic and unwholesome name like tickling lurcher or shudder worm or quiver tongue. Who knows! I did always love those Silent Hill monster names that just barely teeter on some sort of vulgar word salad.
THE SNAKE (SNK)
...Lurk flopper? Hunch leech? Writhing bulb? Needle Taster? Spasm Slug? Flesh hood? Sting thruster???
Tiny, but frankly terrifying! There's just something about that elongated face and tiny, dark eyes that feels extra dreadful on this pale, hairless body. A "monkey" is the last animal I would have expected this to represent, however; it's more like a vague possum with a little bit of anteater mixed in. Should I keep coming up with "real" names for these? How about just Scrabbler for this one? It is definitely something that scrabbles, and I am an expert in that field. Undeniable 100% scrabble factor.
THE MONKEY (MKY)
Simple as this is, it may be one of my new favorite Silent Hill creature designs. You can definitely see the frog basis, but the way its front has been abstracted into two huge, featureless, flipper-like lobes is remarkably unsettling. Imagining this thing just squirming and flopping around with realistic, shiny frog skin really does feel like a nightmare I might have had as a child.
THE FROG (FRG)
At first I liked the thought of Croak as a name. A bit on the noise, but it's SUCH a lovely, guttural word and it even has that double meaning in English slang for death. If we want to get a little weirder than that, though, what about Wet Flap? It's descriptive AND it's ambiguously disgusting!
Coded as "EL?" What did that stand for? Eel? This is definitely more of a stingray or manta ray, but other reviewers seem to skim over how closely its head and jaws resemble those of a dolphin. It probably represented a general fear Alessa had for large, aquatic creatures, but would we have actually encountered it in water? Was there going to be swimming or wading in the original Silent Hill? Now that I mention it, that would have been scary as hell at any point in the series, and it was pretty scary when that tentacle thing dragged us into a pit of sewage in Silent Hill 3,
but I can't recall any noteworthy instance of us actually entering and navigating water in a Silent Hill game. Not even up to our waist, where some creepy little critter could be lurking just beneath the murk.
THE RAY (EL)
What a missed opportunity!
For a name, I nominate Squealer, because dolphins make that terrifying squealing sound and I like to think this would as well. If we want another two-word name, maybe a deep squealer or squealing diver.
The numb body in Silent Hill 3 sort of worked out as a surrogate for this monster, complete with the concealed needle weapon in some rare animations, but this headless bird feels distinctly more ghoulish.
Let's call this creature the Gobbler, because it could also pass for a deranged turkey but also because I just really like the word.
Last but not least, this monster was actually uncovered a while after the rest, and the size of its file implies that it would have been a boss, if not a sub boss or some other unique encounter. We almost had TWO horrible, naked bird monsters in the same game? We were almost that spoiled?
THE CHICKEN (CHK)
I find the ostrich scarier in an "eerie" sense, but the chicken sort of mixes eeriness with a more traditional "beastly" factor. Both are excellent, and the thought of this tall, unwieldy thing trying to murder us as a boss battle is pretty interesting.
As for a NAME to give this godawful bird fetus, there's only one that intruded into my head while watching its animations on youtube:
Not only can you reasonably apply both of those words to this creature, but I think they're words that go from only mildly sketchy to viscerally alarming as soon as they're put next to one another.
What's most noteworthy about all these cut monsters is just how zoological they all are. The final game featured a mix of more abstract humanoids and less categorizable creatures, but all these have a clearer connection to specific members of the animal kingdom, and boy, is Alessa ever a fraidy-cat. What child hates butterflies, birds, dogs, frogs and even dolphins this much?
I guess a psychic mutant child raised by an abusive cult, for one.
Perhaps the animal connection, however, was why they chose to scrap these poor dears in the first place. I could definitely see some people feeling that this menagerie may have distracted too much from the impotance of Alessa's other, more human torments, and turned the original game into a more "Resident Evil" sort of Creature Feature.
Still...I truly love these designs and what they could have added to the series as a whole, and I'd love to see if anyone ever mods them back into the game in any thought-provoking way.
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